Ok, first let me say, I haven't actually seen the movie, but I've seen a lot of short blurbs about it on TV and etc. so I basically can walk you thru it.
Let me begin by saying that the first clue George Lucas is completely out of touch with normal, non-billionaire movie-goers is that according to recent articles he was completely unaware Star Wars geeks and innocent bystanders who were swept into the theater by the raging mobs alike find Jar-Jar Binks about as engaging as a rabid monkey with scabies.
George Lucas of course, doesn't have the same constraints a normal director or writer has. When a non-billionaire moviemaker wants to make a movie, he has to justify the $100 million+ cost in terms of such pedestrian matters as "is the script better than a third rate TV sitcom writer could crank out? or even a high-school class play?" This is rule number one that doesn't seem to apply to Lucas.
2. Is the plot in any way interesting, logical, original or entertaining? Again, this rule doesn't apply because millions of uncritical, braindead fans consider it heresy to question the wisdom of any of Lucas' inane, hackneyed and tired plot points.
C. Can enough special effects be generated to distract from the soul-sucking lameness of the acting, dialog, storyline, directing, characters and over-all hokeyness of this movie? Here Lucas, with his inhouse Industrial Light and Magic wizardry, has it all over normal moviemakers. The answer here is a resounding "FUCK YES! We got Yoda jumping around like a vicious chimp on a crack/viagra cocktail! What else do you need!?"
Lucas is guaranteed to make money on the franchise by an its self-perpetuating hugeness alone. He has a creative process free from the petty annoyances other producer/director/writers have, like "editorial oversight" or "public response". Can you imagine that anytime in the last 20 years any studio honcho has dared to tell George Lucas anything negative or even constructive in the development of the Star Wars series? This is why the last movie ventured off into a charicature of inself almost as ridiculous as Space Balls, only not as funny.
"Attack of the Clones" is supposedly a vast improvement over "The Phantom Menace", but on what grounds I'm pretty much in the dark. The script seems just like a script that has never been touched by an objective editorial process. Its full of self-indulgent crap, embarrassing and uncomfortable moments, stilted dialog and unlikely scenarios, even for the ultimate suspension of disbelief medium of sci-fi. Only someone who is so close to the script and so distant from average, real-world human beings would be able to submit this script without being aware of how ludicrous, idiotic and banal it is. However, who is going to tell George he's a shitty screenwriter? And finally, does it matter? Will the movie make any more money if its got decent dialog and believable acting? Probably not. Sad to say, Lucas does seem to have a handle on the lowest common denominator.
Perhaps the worst feature of the story is the gut-wrackingly sickening "courtship" between Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Senator Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman). I'd like to take a moment to say the names Lucas comes up with DO seem to be audience tested, with focus groups strapped into chairs with earphones on being fed a list of annoying names. When a panel member rips loose from the restraints and tears their ears off, hurling them at the examiners, then gouging their eyes out to avoid seeing the physical manisfestation of "Darth Jobadifen", this name is pronounced worthy and added.
To get back to the love affair, Anakin's technique seems to be ogling Padme (I'd like to pad her one up side the head) then throwing whiny hissy fits when she doesn't respond. However, the script requires she finally succombs to his bitching and acting like an asshole, and of course falls in love with the spoiled prick.
Natalie Portman's acting inspiration seem to be the coma victims in "Awakenings". She sleepwalks through the part like she's on heavy meds. The CGI characters have about ten times the believability as the live actors here. Perhaps an idea would be to have a completely computer generated cast for the next installment, with a randomly generated script as well.
Since we've seen the three "later" episodes, we pretty much know what is going to happen in the next Star Wars. Padme is going to have twins and then she's going to be killed. The only question is how much Lucas will damage the franchise by his ham-handed writing and complete lack of input by anyone who isn't one of his Skywalker lackeys. It would be just terrible if he died mid-production and Spielberg had to take over, ala "AI", and then Steve could ET the whole thing up and make it really lovable and happy and Hollywood style tearjerkingly sappy instead amateurishly awkward!
Of course, an outside director could be called in and make a decent and entertaining movie from the wealth of resources the Star Wars empire commands.
Naw, even sci-fi has its limits. I just can't suspend disbelief enough to hope for something that unlikely.